Club Update - August 2020

It has now been more than 5 months since we last gathered to play pickleball at Via Paraiso (VP). On March 17, the Monterey Bay Pickleball Club (MBPC) made the decision to suspend organized play due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Even though VP is now open for singles play, our club remains on hiatus until the outbreak is under control. The Board of Directors has continued to meet periodically throughout the pandemic and we have received some questions from members on various topics. So, this Blog post is an update on what has been happening with the club, where we’ve been, and where we are going.

Pickleball Status on the Monterey Peninsula

While MBPC play will remain on hold until the pandemic is over, you are free to play on your own where permitted. The information below is provided in case you want to try to organize your own games. The club will remain in communication with the City of Monterey about their plans for reopening VP to our group, and we will continue to look for other venues and resume open play again as soon as the venue(s) dictate that it is safe to do so.

Via Paraiso, is currently limited to singles play only. Morris Dill courts in Pacific Grove is also limited to singles only. This limitation applies to both tennis and pickleball. Both facilities have posted specific policies for play. You are welcome to play in either location but please follow the rules. This is a good opportunity to drill! Failing to follow the rules could harm our relationship with these municipalities and be detrimental to pickleball play as we make our way back to normalcy. The parks and recreation departments of these two cities have been supportive of pickleball, and as we continue to pursue better facilities, it is important that we respect their decisions.

Forest Hill park in Carmel is open for doubles play over the tennis net. As such, Forest Hill has seen a significant increase in play of both tennis and pickleball. This park operates on a time limit, so, if others are playing when you arrive, you may opt to wait your turn. Play time limits are posted. Please respect the posted play times if others are waiting.

Doubles play is also allowed at Wheeler Courts in Seaside during posted times, however, there are no nets. You must bring your own net you want to play there.

Like PG and VP, Forest Hill and Wheeler are embedded in residential neighborhoods, so, please try to keep noise to a minimum to avoid a neighbor revolt like we have seen in the other two communities.

Correction: I'm told only singles play is allowed at Wheeler Courts. Please review the sign posed at the courts before you play. [8/31/2020 4:12PM]

Just to reiterate, any play at the above sites is at your own discretion and the club is not currently endorsing or facilitating play at any location. The above is for informational purposes only.

Additional Court Capacity

As most of you know, before the pandemic, play at Via Paraiso suffered from long wait times due to the large number of players. Sometimes we waited more than we played! The club has been seeking to add more courts for play for several years. Unfortunately, working with local governments can be a slow process, however, we have, and will, remain persistent in our efforts to add additional courts in the area.

About a year ago we received permission from the City of Monterey to repaint the pickleball lines at VP to increase from 4 to 6 courts. The stipulation was that we needed to pay for it ourselves. The cost was approximately $3,500. Thanks to donations from many of you as well fundraising efforts such as our first pickleball tournament (at Quail Lodge) we were able to raise the necessary funds. We hired a contractor and were ready to begin.

Unfortunately, when our contractor contacted the city to begin the process late last year, he was informed that the neighbors had submitted a petition to eliminate all pickleball play from Via Paraiso. As a result, representatives from MBPC met with their neighborhood organization and various City representatives including the Mayor to try to resolve the dispute. We also spoke at both the Parks and Recreation and City Council meetings. We even formed our own petition asking Monterey residents to support pickleball play at VP. In the end, the painting was put on hold but we preserved play at VP by agreeing to abandon Saturday play.